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Colleen Moore was a popular hollywood silent film star in the 1920's. She is best known as the scandalous flapper with her bobbed hair and cutting edge fashions. But off-screen, her passion was creating miniature fantasy worlds.
In 1928, her whimsy and innovation collided - the Fairy Castle was born! Over the next seven years, Colleen Moore enlisted hollywood set designers to created the Fairy Castle's floorplan, interiors, and the expansive structure lighting. Moore's father served as the chief engineer for the project. Making this structure, which is bursting with priceless artwork and antiquities, a miniature museum unto itself. The doll house consisted of 200 interlocking parts, each room is a separate unit, cast in aluminum and covered in exquisite materials.
Like a real castle, it took a village to properly conserve the Fairy Castle. In addition to object conservators (Litas Liparini Restoration Studio) and engineers, the conservation project team included museum curators, an artifact preparator and a mount maker. Curators provided historical research and interpretive expertise and managed the project while the artifact preparator helped disassemble - and reassemble - the castle's 200 pieces and thousands of artifacts. **from November 2013 through May 2014 to repair the Castle structure and replace its aging plumbing (which flowed with real water) and electrical systems.
The castle had flowing water and real working electricity with glowing lights, that for decades have damaged the ceilings, walls and floors. Its old brittle cloth-covered electrical wires have been replaced with contemporary lighting technology. To elimnate the detrimental effects that real water can have on an artifact, cast acrylic pieces and fiber-optic technology have been installed to replicate flowing water from taps, fountains and trees. This also assures the stability of temperature and humidity inside the case. A newly installed modern lighting system within the castle now prevents damage to the conserved rooms and architectural details, and it requires far less maintenance the former incandescent light bulbs. The original plumbing system have been treated for corrosions and left in place to preserve the historical integrity of the artifact.
- (excerpts from Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL.).
Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle
at the Museum of Science and Industry
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